Kislak Center
for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts

Because of our renovation, extra time is needed to retrieve some material. Please see our hours calendar. Hours for today

Goldstein Family Gallery

Across the Spectrum:
Color in American Fine and Private Press Books, 1890-2015

On exhibit February 15 - May 18, 2016

This exhibition explores the establishment of a fine and private press movement in America, beginning at the end of the nineteenth century and continuing to the present day, through its various uses of color. Color was used not only to enhance the page visually, but also to convey important information. Techniques employed to impart color to the page varied, from hand-coloring printed outlines to colored woodcuts and engravings, from applying color through stencils (pochoir) to color lithography, from silkscreening to typographic color. The exhibition celebrates the recent acquisition by the Penn Libraries of The Jean-François Vilain and Roger S. Wieck Collection of Private Presses, Ephemera, & Related References.

For more information on the exhibition, related symposium, and publication.

Recent acquisition

The Lehman register, UPenn Ms. Codex 1713

Earlier this year we purchased a unique hybrid volume relating to the German community in the Philadelphia area during the period around the American Revolution. The volume primarily contains printed forms in both German and English filled-out by the Germantown notary Christian Lehman as a record of hundreds of transactions he notarized for fellow residents.

These documents relate to the assigning of the power of attorney and illustrate the vibrant commercial culture of 18th century Philadelphia and Germantown as well as the far-reaching connections of some of its residents. Towards the end of the volume for instance, Lehman copies out a set of documents in Dutch relating to a set of transactions in Suriname. Finally, after Christian's death in 1774 the book was re-purposed by his son Benjamin and others to record sales figures from their lumber business.

The Lehman registernow UPenn Ms. Codex 1713is an invaluable source for understanding the everyday lives of newly arrived German immigrants and their neighbors in Philadelphia during a transformative period in American history.